Williams, 34, was the second overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft. He began his career by spending seven seasons with the Hawks before moving on to play for the Jazz, Hornets, and Bucks over the course of his 15-year career.
Although he never developed into the sort of star player Atlanta may have hoped for when drafting him ahead of Deron Williams and Chris Paul in 2005, Williams was an exemplary teammate and a reliable role player, averaging 10.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG on .443/.361/.808 shooting in 1,072 career regular season games (28.1 MPG).
The former UNC standout appeared in another 59 playoff contests, including 10 with Milwaukee this summer. He played his last NBA game on Tuesday night, recording 11 points and eight rebounds in the Bucks’ season-ending loss to Miami.
At age 34, Williams would likely still be able to get a minimum-salary contract on an NBA team this offseason if he wanted to extend his career. However, he had spoken back in January about considering retiring at the end of this season. At the time, he said he was interested in pursuing a role in international basketball outreach once his playing days were over.
“I like the Junior NBA (program) where you are basically a camp counselor all around the world,” Williams told Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “Basketball Without Borders, I’ve done a couple of those: I went to Africa and I went to Indonesia. … Any opportunity I get to travel and work with kids? That’s what I would love to do.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.